Dance Your PhD 2017 : A Story of Tumor Suppression - Dr. Deepti Mathur

29 Sep 2017 04:54 8
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Deepti and team use classical and modern Indian dance to show the fate of tumor cells missing an important gene, and how drugs can interfere with these cancer cells. Deepti loves to dance and co-runs an amateur dance group, Manhattan Andaaz, when she's not PhD-ing. Thank you to volunteers from her dance group and her lab for being in this video!

Cancer can arise when there are mutations in oncogenes or tumor suppressors. In this video, we follow the story of an important tumor suppressor, PTEN.

We begin with a metabolic pathway that uses a nutrient, glutamine, to create a component of DNA. This pathway is regulated in part by PTEN. Loss of PTEN allows the pathway to go into overdrive, giving cells the resources needed to keep dividing... leading to cancer.

To halt the growth of the tumor, we can add a drug that blocks a key step of the metabolic pathway. The drug causes damage to DNA, and the cancer cells that were dependent on this metabolic pathway are therefore killed.

Normal tumor cells in our body are protected from the drug, because the intact PTEN in our normal cells help DNA get repaired. Therefore, we believe we have found a way to specifically target cancer cells with PTEN mutations!

September 2017

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